WESTERN CAPE CABINET HEADS FOR THE KOUE BOKKEVELD, 25-26 JULY 2001
Farm killings and farmer protection, the threat of land invasions, the financial plight of farmers and the effects thereof on the local economy will be spotlighted when Western Cape Premier, Gerald Morkel, and his Cabinet visit the Koue Bokkeveld and surrounding areas tomorrow and on Thursday.
"Sustainable rural development has been confirmed as one of the Western Cape Government's top priorities, and rightly so, as the rural areas of the province accommodate the largest part of the Western Cape's agricultural sector - a sector responsible for 60 percent of South Africa's agricultural exports. We want to focus on the protection of current employment opportunities and the creation of new ones, as well as the improvement of living standards," said Mr Morkel.
Residents of Ceres and surrounding towns can also look forward to meeting the Premier and his Cabinet MECs personally, have one-on-one discussions with them, and make their grievances known at this year's second Cabinet to the People Project.
Premier Morkel says this is the perfect opportunity for the Western Cape Government to introduce its "Open Door" and "Action" Programme to the people of the Koue Bokkeveld - a programme aiming to connect the Provincial Government with the people of the Western Cape at grass roots level, and engage them in the management of and service delivery in the province. Residents of Ceres and its surrounds will have the opportunity to discuss their problems personally with Cabinet MECs at open desks in the Town Hall between 3 and 5 o'clock on Thursday afternoon. "It is especially through individual conversations that we can determine the priorities and problems of the area and address them directly," Mr Morkel said. Residents can also voice their complaints at a public meeting at 6:30 pm, Thursday night in the Ceres Town Hall.
During the visit, the Western Cape Cabinet will have official talks with farmers' and workers' unions of the Koue and Warm Bokkeveld, as well as the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.
The first Cabinet to the People Project this year was held in the Southern Cape. Four visits took place last year; the West Coast, Overberg, Breede River and Central Karoo.
Media are welcome to attend
25 JULY 2001, Wednesday
15:30 - Meeting with Koue Bokkeveld Farmers' Union (NG Church Hall, Op-die-Berg)
17:45 - Visit Skurweberg Secondary School (Op-die-Berg)
18:30 - Meeting with Koue Bokkeveld Workers' Union (Community Hall, Op-die-Berg)
26 JULY 2001, Thursday
10:00: Meeting with Warm Bokkeveld Farmers' Union (Town Hall, Voortrekker Road, Ceres)
13:00 - Open discussions with Ceres Chamber of Commerce, followed by lunch (Town Hall, Voortrekker Road, Ceres)
15:00 - 17:00 Cabinet Members available for one-on-one discussions with members of the public (Town Hall, Voortrekker Road, Ceres)
18:30 - Public meeting (Town Hall, Voortrekker Road, Ceres)
Chris Koole on (021) 483 4705 or (082) 774 3462
Riana Geldenhuys on (021) 483 4705 or (082) 376 4709
Issued by: Office of the Premier, Western Cape, 24 July 2001